The U.S. Department of Defense is far and away the biggest spender among federal agencies, with a $613 billion budget.
That big a budget means multiple opportunities for manufacturers to land contracts, but smaller companies often have a hard time navigating all the paperwork and bureaucracy.
An upcoming workshop in Indianapolis aims to help small- and mid-sized manufacturers make stronger bids for defense contracts. The event takes place between 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time Sept. 5 at the Purdue Technology Center in Indianapolis, 5225 Exploration Drive.
Imaginestics LLC, a supply chain software company based at the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, will host "Indy Def 2013 - DOD Source Approval Request Workshop." CEO-NET, Conexus Indiana, the Indiana Defense Technology Council and the Purdue Research Park are sponsoring the event, which will educate manufacturers on how to do business with the Department of Defense.
Small- and mid-sized manufacturers often need help because they do not have the same resources as larger companies to devote to bidding for federal contracts, said Rob Hill, a business analyst at Imaginestics. The process can be time-consuming and confusing to the uninitiated.
"These manufacturers struggle for new business while government requests for proposals often go unfulfilled," he said. "The results include parts shortages, manufacturing delays and cost overruns. The workshop is being organized to help government meet those challenges as they affect the economy and national security."
Business leaders who attend can learn how to become approved vendors and also what the Department of Defense looks for when asking manufacturers for requests for proposal, Hill said.
Guest speakers will include officials from Defense Supply Center Columbus and Air Force Research Laboratory. They will talk about the process used by government buyers and also the Department of Defense's Connecting American Manufacturing program.
The cost is $25, and includes a box lunch during the networking session. To register, visit http://indydef2013.eventbrite.com.